Spirit record falls to 1-1 with first loss of season following 6-2 loss to Sarnia

The Sting dominated the physical play throughout most of the game...

    icon Sep 23, 2018
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Saginaw, MI:
After jumping out to an undefeated (5-0) pre season and an impressive 5-2 victory over the Soo Greyhounds (0-1) in the 2018-19 Ontario Hockey League season opener at the Dow Event Center on Wednesday night, the Saginaw Spirit (1-1) came crashing back down to earth following a 6-2 loss to a very physical Sarnia Sting (1-0) team in front of 3,518 at the Dow tonight. 
The Spirit were man-handled by Sarnia's physicality from the first drop of the puck and it was just a matter of time before the Sting took an early lead midway through the first frame when Sarnia rookie forward Jamieson Rees (Sarnia's top pick, 9th overall, in the 2018 OHL priority selection draft) scored his first career OHL goal with assists from Anthony Salinitri and Mitch Eliot for a 1-0 lead at 10:44 of the opening period.
Sarnia added to its lead just 94-seconds later when another rookie, RW Jacob Perrault (a first round pick of the Sting, 19th overall, in the 2018 OHL priority selection draft from Hinsdale, IL.) scored his first career OHL goal from Justin McCombs and Curtis Egert for a 2-0 lead at 12:18 of the first period, before Salinitri added an unassisted goal in the final minute of the period, giving Sarnia a 3-0 lead at the 19:05 mark, eventually chasing Spirit starting goal tender Cam Lamour in favor of 2018 CHL import draft pick, Ivan Prosvetov (a fourth round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in the 2018 NHL draft) after the first intermission.
The Spirit came out energized, managing to keep the puck in the Sarnia zone throughout most of the middle frame, while out-shooting the Sting by an 11-4 margin in the second, however, Sarnia goal tender Aidan Hughes was stopping everything the Saginaw offense could throw at him, as the Sting continued to win the physical battles in a scoreless second period, before the Spirit would finally get on the board in the first minute of the third period when over-age Saginaw forward Albert Michnac beat Hughes with an unassisted goal, his second of the season, cutting the Sarnia lead to 3-1 just :35 seconds into the final period. 
Sarnia stuck the dagger in and twisted it when Perrault added an unassisted goal, his second of the night, for a 4-1 Sting lead at 4:49 of the third period. 
Saginaw would not go quietly, however, as second year forward Blade Jenkins (a fifth round pick of the New York Islanders in the 2018 NHL draft) picked up a pass from Jake Goldowski and turned on the jets, playing keep-away from the Sarnia defenders in the Sting zone, before eventually finding fellow second year forward Nicholas Porco with his first goal of the season to cut the Sarnia lead in half (4-2) at 8:43 of the second period.
Third year Sarnia forward Adam Ruzicka added a goal, his first of the season with an assist coming from Sean Josling for a 5-2 Sting lead at 14:17 of the final period, while Salinitri scored an empty-net goal for a 6-2 lead at the 18:04 mark to round out the scoring.
The Spirit will look to regroup in its first road game of the season with a trip across the Detroit River to take on the Windsor Spitfires at 7:05 pm at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, ON Thursday night, before returning to host the Guelph Storm for a 7:05 pm face off Saturday night at the Dow Event Center.

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